1950 Tacoma Rhododendron Show
Leonard F. Frisbie, General Show Chairman
Our 1950 Rhododendron Show in Tacoma was held at the Bank of California on Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14th. We were forced to postpone one week due to a very slow spring. This year the Show was sponsored by the newly organized Tacoma Rhododendron Society. More commercial growers were represented in the Show this year and the community as a whole gave excellent support. We are indebted to the Tacoma News-Tribune for excellent publicity and all of the radio stations in Tacoma and Seattle helped generously. Crowds were good, especially on the Mother's Day Sunday. (Fig. 17)
Fig. 17: A view of the rhododendron show of the Tacoma,
Washington group held at Tacoma.
The judges this year were furnished by the American Rhododendron Society. The panel consisted of Mr. Donald Graham, Mr. O. E. Holmdahl and Mr. Brian O. Mulligan, Director of the University of Washington Arboretum, all of Seattle. Two cups were offered, one for the best display in the show and one for the best plant in the show. Coen's University Place nursery won the display cup with some magnificent plants of fine varieties, and this nursery also won the cup for the best plant in the show with an enormous plant of 'R. Mrs. G. W. Leak' in full flower and in excellent condition. H. L. Larson of Tacoma took second place for display. He showed a variety of very fine and interesting plants. The Tacoma Garden Club won third place for display with a beautiful garden scene complete with pool, azaleas and rhododendrons.
Mr. George Grace of Portland displayed a fine lot of cut trusses of new and fine varieties that were much appreciated by the Show Committee. Mr. Brian O. Mulligan of the Arboretum brought a fine lot of large cut sprays of fine and interesting varieties. Mr. Donald Graham of Seattle was represented by a goodly number of cut trusses of unusual things that attracted a lot of favorable interest.
Coen's University Place Nursery displayed, in addition to the 'R. Mrs. Leak', fine specimen plants of R. 'Loderi King George' and R. augustinii . The augustinii was an especially fine form of fairly deep blue, and the 'King George' was also a very fine form of that variety. Included in the display was a fine plant of 'R. Souvenir of W. C. Slocock'. These plants were all in excellent condition and they were wonderfully well flowered.
H. L. Larson of Tacoma had a very fine display that featured large plants of R. 'Alice' and R. 'Mrs. G. W. Leak'. He also displayed nice specimen plants of the species R. cremastum , R. calostrotum and R. oreotrephes .
Mr. Larson also had in his display a fine plant of R. 'Lady Stuart of Wortley' and some very fine deciduous azaleas. Of great interest were two examples of Mr. Larson's own hybridization, 'Mme Chauvin' x 'Earl of Athlone' and 'Earl of Athlone' x fortunei . Both were very good indeed.
The Tacoma Garden Club staged a beautiful garden scene that entranced all visitors to the show. A lovely cedar stake fence furnished the background and in front of this were set a number of Douglas fir trees in realistic fashion. A number of fine azaleas and rhododendrons added interest to the display.
The Firth Nursery of Tacoma had a charming display that featured R. schlippenbachii along with some evergreen azaleas. This display was especially well arranged with a fine variety of material.
Mr. I. S. Bronson, grower for Tacoma Seed Co., displayed R. 'Mars', 'Mrs. G. W. Leak', 'Lord Roberts', and a large plant of R. 'Britannia'. There was also a charming plant of azalea 'Mary' and a large plant of 'Purple Splendor'.
The Puget Sound Nursery and Garden Shop displayed a beautiful garden scene that emphasized R. 'Cynthia' and R. schlippenbachii . Flowering shrubs and good arrangement made this a fine display.
The Woodland Park Floral Co. of Sumner displayed a mixture of fine rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas in a very colorful and charming fashion. R. 'Mars', R. 'Lady Primrose' and R. 'Hollandia' were the rhododendrons used and azaleas 'Norma' and 'Byron' were blended with these very effectively.
Donald McLain of Tacoma displayed some unusual plants. R. 'Dormouse' was one that few in this area had seen before. An azaleodendron that attracted much attention was the result of a cross between R. griersonianum x R. occidentale . It was a flashing bright red. 'Mrs. Furnival', 'Loderi White Diamond', 'Lady Primrose' and racemosum completed the display.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward E. Johnson of Tacoma had a very beautiful display that was arranged by Mrs. Johnson and her grand primroses almost took attention away from the very fine rhododendrons in the exhibit. R. 'Mrs. G. W. Leak', R. 'Elspeth Slocock', R. 'Souvenir of W. C. Slocock' and 'Bow Bells' were also in the display.
Mr. E. J. Cooper of Tacoma had a large plant of R. 'Temple Bells' in the show along with R. campylocarpum and a well flowered plant of R. 'Exquisitum'. Mr. E. H. Van Fossen of Tacoma showed a plant of R. glaucum and Leonard F. Frisbie of Puyallup showed the Exbury form of R. ' Lady Chamberlain'.
All of the many who attended our Tacoma Show owe a debt of thanks for the Bank of California in Tacoma for the show would not have been possible without their cooperation.